Friday, November 9, 2007

L.A. Galacticos, Weekend Preview, & some Poppies

So, it's offical. The Galaxy have named Ruud Gullit as the flashy successor to Frank Yallop. Will it prove to a good decision? And more specifically, will it prove to be a good decision from a soccer perspective (as opposed to the marketing side of the house)? Count me among the skeptical (and does Beckham strike anyone as someone to build a "total football" squad around?). I think familiarity with the league (and especially its shortcomings and quirks) is important to MLS coaching success. Ruud has no such familiarity. However, we can say with confidence that Gullit will wear that Hugo Boss team suit better than Yallop, and maybe that is what LA is going for. "LA Galaxy--the most ridiculously good-looking team in MLS."

In other MLS news, New England defeated Chicago last night to secure a spot in the MLS Cup final. Will it be Houston or Kansas City joining them? We'll find out Saturday. (And here's hoping it's Houston.)

Across the pond, on a weekend where everyone'll be sporting poppies for Remembrance Day, I'll be watching Fulham take on Liverpool in what promises to be a supremely entertaining game. If it plays to form for the Cottagers this year, Fulham will provide great, lively football only to give away the points at the end (either through a tie or defeat, it matters not).

Mighty big weekend for the big American goalkeepers. Timmy and Everton take on Chelsea, while Friedel looks to have another one of his stupefyingly great days against ManU.

Derby County play West Ham, but its on Sentanta, which I don't get, and Benny is probably, once again, not going to dress, so why watch another team beat the snot out of Derby?

Across the channel in Deutschland, Stuttgart take on FC Bayern. A few years back we would've been assured of a great match, but now probably more a question of how badly Bayern will beat 11th-place Stuttgart (though, in their defense, they've won two in a row). Either way, Ribbery is always worth watching, so this game gets TiVo'd

So, that's it for now. I'll close with "In Flanders Fields" (but let's not even start on the sorry state of Belgian football):

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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